Title

Exploring the practices of assessment for learning in the classroom: a case study of five secondary schools in Rungwe district Mbeya, Tanzania.

Date of Award

11-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fulgence Swai Saronga

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Joachim Tamba

Department

AKU-East Africa

Abstract

Assessment for learning (AfL) is an essential part of everyday classroom instructional practice as it can be applied as a pedagogical approach to improving students learning. There is an agreement among scholars about the influence of AfL in enhancing students‟ learning and achievements when it is practiced during instruction in secondary education. However, there are inadequate studies in Tanzania exploring the extent to which secondary school teachers practice AfL to increase learners' performance. This study aimed to investigate the practice of AfL in secondary schools‟ classrooms in Tanzania. Previous studies have shown that there is a gap between teachers' perception of assessment and their classroom practices. Data from 118 secondary school teachers in the Rungwe district was collected using a self-administered questionnaire and classroom observation sheet. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to investigate the relationship between teachers‟ practice of AfL and their characteristics in terms of the level of education and working experience. An independent samples t-test analysis was conducted to explore the difference in the teachers‟ practice of AfL between male and female teachers. Statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Analysis from the survey questionnaire found that most secondary school teachers reported practicing AfL in their classrooms. However, lesson observation results clearly found that most of the teachers infrequently practice AfL in their classroom practice with the exception of questioning and classroom discussion. Recommendations made include the ministry of education to integrate AfL in the curriculum, review of teacher education curriculum to prepare pre-service teachers with AfL skills and design professional development programs for in-service teachers to increase teachers' understanding of AfL approaches. Area for further studies, the study recommends qualitative and quantitative studies based on lesson observation to confirm the inadequate practice of AfL. Further study should focus on a cause-effect relationship such as the practice of AfL and students' achievement.

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